Why The General Public Is More Willing To Go To War Than Academics

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Photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford

The average American is more willing to use military force in an international incident than foreign policy experts are, and in some cases the the differences in opinion are quite stark. A new study from William & Mary and the University of Wisconsin indicates that the difference in opinion may have less to do with an individual's political leaning, and more to do with gaps in knowledge. Subjects for the study were asked questions about eight hypothetical cases, with responses between academics and average Americans often at odds.


When asked if the U.S. should take military action against the Islamic State, more than 60% of Americans were in favor of war, while only 25% of experts were. Of all the questions asked, this binary was only flipped once — about whether or not the U.S. should militarily support Estonia if Russian-backed forces invaded. More than 50% of experts were in favor of military action, compared to roughly 40% of Americans. The reason for this may have to do with Estonia being a part of NATO, and the significance of defending another NATO member may not have been known to non-experts.

Veterans are pushing back against a Wall Street Journal op-ed, in which a woman with no military experience argued that women do not belong in combat units.

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Inside a canvas Quonset hut, one of the arced prefabricated structures used by the military and surrounded by concertina wire, Trump received operational briefs from U.S. commanders suggesting a territorial victory against Islamic State was within sight, but the military needed just a bit more time, U.S. officials said.

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Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lisa Ferdinando

The Coast Guard's top officer is telling his subordinates to "stay the course" after they missed their regularly scheduled paycheck amid the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

In a message to the force sent Tuesday, Adm. Karl L. Schultz said both he and the Department of Homeland Security Secretary remain "fully engaged" on the missing pay issue, which have caused "anxiety and uncertainty" for Coasties and their families.

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After years of frequent mechanical failures ad embarrassing cost overruns, the Navy finally plans on deploying three hulls from its much-derided Littoral Combat Ship fleet by this fall after a protracted absence from the high seas, the U.S. Naval Institute reports.

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